AP: Arkansas governor delays plans for session on tax cuts

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is backing off plans to call the Legislature back to the Capitol next week to take up income tax cuts. The Republican governor on Tuesday delayed the special session he had expected to call for the income tax cut proposal. Hutchinson said he needs more time …

White River Now’s Teisha Bagwell chats with Sen. James Sturch about the current legislative session

With the state legislature in session, White River Now’s Teisha Bagwell recently visited with District 19 State Sen. James Sturch about the current slate facing lawmakers in Little Rock. Listen to their conversation below. A transcript of their conversation follows. <!–[if lt IE 9]><![endif]–> https://dehayf5mhw1h7.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/1601/2021/10/05130252/SturchInterview1004.mp3 Teisha: This is Teisha Bagwell from the First Community Bank …

Ex-deputy charged with manslaughter in teen’s death

A former Lonoke County sheriff’s deputy has been charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a white teenager whose death has drawn the attention of civil rights activists nationally. A special prosecutor on Friday announced the felony charge against former sheriff’s deputy Sgt. Michael Davis in the fatal shooting of Hunter Brittain (pictured below). …

AP: U.S. Census notes the fastest growth in Arkansas in northwest region

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The latest U.S. Census data shows that Arkansas’ fastest-growing counties and metropolitan area are in the state’s northwest region. The data released Thursday showed that Benton County had the state’s fastest growth between 2010 and 2020, with its population increasing by 28.5%. Neighboring Washington County’s population increased by about 21%. …

AP: Arkansas hospitals announce vaccine requirements for staff

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A growing number of Arkansas hospitals are requiring their staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. CHI St. Vincent, St. Bernards Healthcare System, NEA Baptist and Conway Regional Health System announced the vaccine requirements for staff on Thursday as the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped for the first time in nearly a …

Gary B.: Son of Grandpa and Ramona Jones, Mark Jones, passes away

Mark Jones, the son of Grandpa and Ramona Jones and a member of Grandpa’s band for many years passed away. Mark was 65. Mark worked with the Willis Brothers on the Grand Ole Opry and made several appearances on the TV show “Hee-Haw.” He traveled on the road playing bass with his dad until he …

AP: What the $65 billion broadband service plan will do

The Senate’s $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan includes a $65 billion investment in broadband that the White House says will “deliver reliable, affordable, high-speed internet to every household.” It may not actually achieve that, but it’s a major step. The “digital divide” is a persistent problem in the U.S. that became glaringly obvious during the …

Univ. of Arkansas board votes to require masks on campuses

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The University of Arkansas is requiring masks on its campuses after a judge temporarily blocked the state’s law banning mask mandates. The board on Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution requiring campuses to develop face mask policies for indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. The move comes days after a judge …

Arkansas reports new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas has set a new record for the number of people hospitalized because of COVID-19 as the state’s coronavirus surge continues. The state on Monday reported its COVID-19 hospitalizations rose by 103, its biggest one-day increase, to 1,376. The state’s previous record during the pandemic for COVID-19 hospitalizations was in …

BREAKING: Judge blocks Arkansas law barring mask mandates in schools

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas judge has temporarily blocked the state from enforcing a law that prevents schools and other governmental agencies from requiring masks. Pulaski County Circuit Jude Tim Fox on Thursday issued a preliminary injunction against the law Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed in April. Fox’s decision came shortly after Arkansas lawmakers …